Mocs Recovery Program Earns National Accreditation

Chuck Wasserstrom

January 4, 2024

A fledgling program for University of Tennessee at Chattanooga students in recovery or treatment for substance misuse has received full accreditation.

The Mocs Recovery Program, a collaboration between the Center for Wellbeing and the Counselor Education Program, has been fully accredited through the Association of Recovery in Higher Education’s Standardized Review for Collegiate Recovery Advancement. As a result of the ARHE review, the Mocs Recovery Program received the designation of a “fully reviewed program” with an overall score of 92%.

Universities seeking fully reviewed program status need a minimal score of 80%.

“This is a true testament to the hard work that folks in this campus have put into this program from the very beginning,” Center for Wellbeing Director Megan McKnight said. “Folks who have not had recovery or even substance misuse education as a part of their job description have cared enough about this work to do it and do it well, and it was exciting to receive such a high score in a review process that also included campuses that were much larger than ours.”

UTC is one of the first 10 campuses in the country to go through the accreditation process and the youngest, having launched its collegiate recovery program in early 2022.

“A lot of large state schools were part of this pilot,” McKnight said, “and we were the smallest and the youngest. We came out of that and showed that we had all the necessary requirements for our program to stand up and be seen as a valuable and supportive environment for our students.”

The mission of the Mocs Recovery Program is to provide students in recovery with the support they need to grow personally and academically.

In its external review and findings summary, the ARHE said the UTC program exhibited a well-defined organizational structure aligned with the broader institutional mission and boasted a robust staffing structure committed to recovery principles.

“Notably, the strategic plan is well-articulated, but opportunities for regular reviews and updates are highlighted to ensure ongoing responsiveness to the evolving needs of the collegiate recovery community,” the ARHE report stated. “The program’s engagement with stakeholders, both on- and off-campus, is commendable, but there’s room for further expansion and diversification.

“In terms of recovery promotion, the program excels in fostering a robust recovery culture, yet there are opportunities for greater visibility of student achievements and the introduction of formalized recognition programs. Commitment to equity and social justice is evident, with recommendations for creative approaches within state law constraints.”